Morel makes first start since 2013, allows two baserunners

BOX SCORES: SAC / RIC / SJ / AUG / SK / AZL / DSL

Jose Morel and D.J. Snelten were swapped on the San Jose Giants roster, with Morel moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation and Snelten dropping back into a reliever role. We got our first look at the results of that switch as Morel, 22 of the Dominican Republic, made his first pro start since 2013, and first on United States soil.

Morel, who is playing with his first full-season team, made one spot start three years ago in an impressive season with the Dominican Summer League Giants. He's been a permanent reliever ever since, that is until he got the call Tuesday night against the Modesto Nuts. He struck out four in six innings while allowing just a single base hit. Another man reached on an error, but otherwise, Morel faced 20 hitters and set down 18 of them.

Morel features a two-seam fastball and an impressive slider, both of which I have gotten on camera this year. I will work on posting that soon. The Giants are likely to slowly work on Morel's stamina, as evidenced by last night's outing — 56 pitches in six innings.

Snelten, on the other hand, was having an interesting season. The tall left-hander had a large discrepancy between his ERA and FIP, with his lower FIP being an indication of a Single-A defense inflating his hit and run totals. He's given up an average of 12.1 hits per nine innings while working with a 63 percent ground ball rate. So despite his 5.10 ERA in 13 starts, a well-above average 3.20 FIP implies a major-league average defense would bring his hit totals and ERA down to earth. Of the 97 hits he has allowed in 72.1 innings, only 13 of them have been extra-base hits, including just one home run. 

For comparison, Jordan Johnson, regarded as a top-10 pitching prospect in the Giants' system, averages almost three fewer hits per nine innings, has an ERA 0.50 lower than that of Snelten, but has allowed a staggering 11 home runs and 16 doubles among 76 hits. Thus why Johnson's FIP is 4.89 — far below average and one of the worst among Giants' minor league starters.

OTHER NOTES

— 18-year-old Sandro Fabian hit his first home run since promoting from the DSL Giants to the Arizona rookie team. He's off to a nice start in the AZL after just one season in his homeland, racking up eight hits in 23 at-bats, including a triple (which was almost a home run) and last night's dinger. At 6'1", 180 pounds, Fabian is regarded as one of the system's best international prospects, featuring the potential to develop average to above-average skills in all five tools.

— Bryan Reynolds collected three hits, including a double, on Tuesday night as the Giants' top pick now has five hits in his last three games after debuting with four strikeouts in eight hitless at-bats. Reynolds took a night off from the field while all three starting outfielders (Ashford Fulmer, Gio Brusa, and Heath Quinn) recorded outfield assists, including two runners gunned down at the plate.

Ronnie Jebavy is 9-for-21 with a double and two home runs in his last five games as he continues to raise his batting average from what was once a basement-low .188 on May 8 — 119 plate appearances into the season. With a three-run shot in Tuesday night's game, Jebavy's slash line is now .249/.314/.374, featuring a .445 slugging percentage since May 10.

— In disappointing news, Kyle Crick will make his 14th start of the season tonight, and based on the results from attempting to reestablish him as a starter in the Richmond rotation, I can't imagine the experiment will go on for much longer. Crick's ERA (6.44) is the highest among all minor league starters in the Giants' system, and his WHIP (1.657) is second highest. And things haven't been getting better, either. His last five starts have yielded a 12.06 ERA with 27 hits and nine walks in 15.2 innings.

TOMORROW'S STARTERS


TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP

  1. Christian Arroyo: 1-for-5, R, 2B, SO
  2. Tyler Beede: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
  3. Phil Bickford: DNP
  4. Lucius Fox: 1-for-4, RBI, BB, SO
  5. Chris Shaw: 0-for-4, RBI, SO
  6. Sam Coonrod: DNP
  7. Mac Williamson: DNP
  8. Aramis Garcia: DNP
  9. Andrew Suarez: DNP
  10. Adalberto Mejia: DNP
  11. Clayton Blackburn: DNP
  12. Jalen Miller: DNP
  13. Ray Black: DNP
  14. Chase Johnson: DNP
  15. Jordan Johnson: DNP
  16. Steven Okert: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
  17. Kyle Crick: DNP
  18. Hunter Cole: 2-for-5, R, 2B
  19. Austin Slater: DNP
  20. Joan Gregorio: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
  21. Michael Santos: DNP
  22. Ty Blach: DNP
  23. Rodolfo Martinez: DNP
  24. Steven Duggar: 1-for-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI, SO, CS
  25. Mac Marshall: DNP
  26. Ronnie Jebavy: 1-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, SO
  27. Chris Stratton: DNP
  28. Ian Gardeck: DNP
  29. Jake Smith: DNP
  30. Dylan Davis: 0-for-3, SO

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